Just back in time from stateside travel to enjoy the Columbus Day holiday, Diplomonkey is off with the family to Lima’s mercado artesanal (i.e., native crafts market) in Miraflores. In the Foreign Service there is nothing better than a U.S. holiday overseas with the family; it feels…just like playing hooky from school, but in this case it’s federally sanctioned. Yippee, Uncle Sam really must love me!
So the Diplos pile into the Jeep. Up over the mountain and across Lima’s concrete and asphalted coastal plain we are off towards the coast eight miles and an hour away on a good day. The dudes of course fall asleep, which gives wifie and Diplomonkey a chance for some adult conversation time. Should have stopped for Starbucks, darn it.
GPS-less, but with a Google map on the iPhone we arrive in the general vicinity and find covered, secure parking in a wonky department store lot for 5 Soles per hour – not a bad deal.
So the intrepid Diplo explorers begin their search for handicrafts and especially for Chullos, the classic Peruvian wool hat with ear flaps – Diplomonkey is getting flashbacks of Nirvana and the age of grunge.
Okay, I guess I’m once again digressing. The handicrafts are Christmas presents for family stateside, the Chullos for the dudes’ Christmas photos. Little cousin Sophie scores a Chullo and an Alpaca wool dress – very fashionable I dare say so for an eight month-old.
Okay so it’s not Cairo’s Khan el Khalili, but cool nonetheless. Need to go back for chess sets, local rugs, silver, and maybe some mounted creepy crawlies for the guys.
Mission accomplished, partly, but now running on empty we search out local eateries for sustenance. The Diplos by happens chance come across a hole in the wall café, a true “Rincón de los Famosos” that brings back teary eye memories of a somewhat similar one from a Miami now a lifetime away. Get some spectacular mocha coffee, sorry Starbucks for my transgression, some alfajores, and exquisite little cheese sandwiches, crepes, and freshly made lemonade.
Ah life is good in Lima’s Miraflores, even the sun appears.
Cheers from a Chullo wearing, mocha coffee drinking Diplomonkey.